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Suggestions for Weekend trips from Portland

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Suggestions for Weekend trips from Portland

I moved into Hillsboro area about 8 months ago and have been going somewhere almost every weekend for the last 8 months. I looking for some suggestion as to the best options for the coming two weeks. I love to photograph , so any scenic locale serves me well.

I have already been to: the coast from Newport to Astoria, Crater Lake/Lava beds, several hikes and snowshoes in the Gorge (both WA and OR) and Mt Hood area, Deschutes valley, Silver Falls area, Fossil beds/painted hills, Mt Rainier, multiple trips to Seattle. I am going to San Juan and Hoh rainforest in a few weeks.

The options I was considering are:

Hells Canyon (saw suggestions on TA for going there in September)

Palouse (saw suggestions on TA for going there in September)

Oregon Dunes and Oregon Caves national monument ( may be too hot next week on the dunes)

Redwood National Park (was planning to go there when rains hit Portland, maybe October)

Mt St Helens (day trip during the week?)

For a weekend, I can go anywhere within a 5 hour drive of Portland. Any suggestions for some places to visit this weekend and the next?

Thanks in advance.

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1. Re: Suggestions for Weekend trips from Portland

Whidbey Island is nice. The Inn @ Langley is a beautiful place to stay there. Enjoy your adventures! :).

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Gresham, Oregon
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2. Re: Suggestions for Weekend trips from Portland

Painted Hills and the John Day Fossil Beds near Mitchell. (OOPs - already been there)

Edited: 9:56 am, July 30, 2013
Troutdale, Oregon
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3. Re: Suggestions for Weekend trips from Portland

Grants Pass is about 3-4 hours from here. There is the beautiful Rogue River flowing kind of through / around it and its beautiful. They have a really fun jetboat ride called Hellgate Jetboat and it is usually fully booked. Get reservations ahead of time. The drivers have fun with the passengers and they spin out in 4" of water. Everyone gets wet and has a ball.

They have a meal ride which is a no miss. They stop at the OK Corral for all you can eat and drink meal. Right out there in the canyon.

The Taprock restaurant there is right on the river with big decks overlooking the river. Sometimes they are slow, but the food is good and the view is amazing and relaxing.

We usually stay at the Riverside Inn which is not 5* hotel but has balconies right on the river and you see the jetboats come home or go out. (they all go at once.. or come back at once.)

There are other things to do there and in Ashland (Shakespeare) but we do this at least once a year. I was raised in Grants Pass and love the little river town.

Best,

MrsO

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Rogue River
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Ashland
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Portland
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4. Re: Suggestions for Weekend trips from Portland

thanks for the suggestions. Will checkout the Jetboat.

I saw Whidbey; but I am not sure if it is worth it since I am going to San Juan next week.

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Green Valley...
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5. Re: Suggestions for Weekend trips from Portland

Whidbey is very different than SJI, well worth visiting in its own right; you can make a loop trip out of Seattle.

Whidbey Island is a great day or more getaway with many features of the Pacific NW; this TA article includes key websites, tours, maps. tripadvisor.com/Travel-g58824-s2/Whidbey-Isl…

On Whidbey Island, Ebey’s Landing State Park Dramatic, easy, trail, farmland to the east, Puget Sound and the Olympics to the west. http://tinyurl.com/3c8zrnc

I assume you have SJI reservations and know how to negotiate the ferries. If not, to either, glad to help.

Edited: 2:16 pm, July 30, 2013
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Portland
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6. Re: Suggestions for Weekend trips from Portland

Thanks Voyaging for replying. Will check out Whidbey too.

I made a reservation at Moran State Park on the Orcas on Sat night. Still looking for a camping reservation on Fri night.

My plan is to start from Portland on friday. drive to Anacortes., If I get a camping reservation anywhere on the SJI on Fri night too, I would take the 11PM ferry out of Anacortes. Otherwise, I would take the first ferry out of Anacortes to SJI on Sat. I plan to spend the whole day in SJI. Haven't seen yet what are the spots to see or if a whale cruise is necessary.

I plan to go to Orcas from SJI on Sat night to get to Moran SP. Would spend most of the day on Orcas and catch the 5:20PM ferry to Anacortes and then drive back to Portland.

Does this seem doable? Am I missing something?

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7. Re: Suggestions for Weekend trips from Portland

On your general topic, Redwood NP is slightly beyond the top end of your 5 hours. Driving within 10 MPH of the posted speed limit, it's about 6 hours to Crescent City. From there, it's more driving to see the bulk of the attractions. So that might best be saved for when you have an extra day?

Crescent City gets about 65" inches of rain a year - Eureka about 45". So both areas get more than Portland ;-)

I don't understand your question about it being "too hot" at the Oregon Dunes? Whilst it's true that this summer has been unusually (wonderfully!) dry along the coast, it rarely gets "hot" at the dunes.

Joseph, Wallowa Lake area is really nice. Go before Labor Day and ride the tram! Sisters/ Bend area has a lot to do.

There are lots of kind of "tucked away" places that offer interesting/fun things to do but do not necessarily have enough to occupy a whole weekend. I'm thinking of various historical parks, lakes, small towns that have festivals, that sort of thing.

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Portland
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8. Re: Suggestions for Weekend trips from Portland

@half brit How much time should I allot to seeing the Oregon dunes? Starting on a Sat morning and returning on Sun night, is there enough to do around the Oregon dunes to fill the whole day or should I go to the Grants pass area?

For the Redwood trip, I was planning on starting at ~6PM and driving to some camping spot between Grants Pass and Crescent city, staying there for the night. Next morning I was planning to take the backroad into crescent city and roam around redwood NP for the rest of the day and sun morning, then return on Sun night.

Is it better to go to the Wallowa lake/Hells canyon area before Labor day or after when there might be fall colors?

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Troutdale, Oregon
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9. Re: Suggestions for Weekend trips from Portland

Go before labor day. There is a great camping spot (if you RV) on the Rogue River along the water but it looks like it changed names. The National Park there has a lava tube with river running through it. (I haven't been there I have been at the one that has changed names. Google Camping on the Rogue River. Then take your choice.

MrsO

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10. Re: Suggestions for Weekend trips from Portland

@MrsO_5 Where are suggesting us to go before Labor day? Hells Canyon or Rogue River near Crater lake?

Thanks